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The Year of Magical Thinking Paperback – February 13, 2007
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From the Publisher
|Let Me Tell You What I Mean||South and West||Blue Nights||The Year of Magical Thinking||We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live||The Last Thing He Wanted|
|From one of our most iconic and influential writers: a timeless collection of mostly early pieces that reveal what would become Joan Didion's subjects, including the press, politics, California robber barons, women, and her own self-doubt.||Here are two extended excerpts from notebooks Joan Didion kept in the 1970s; read together, they form a piercing view of the American political and cultural landscape.||"A New York Times Notable Book and National Bestseller From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter."||A stunning book of electric honesty and passion that explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage—and a life, in good times and bad—that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.||Includes seven books in one volume: the full texts of Slouching Towards Bethlehem; The White Album; Salvador; Miami; After Henry; Political Fictions; and Where I Was From.||An incisive and chilling look at a modern world where things are not working as they should—and where the oblique and official language is as sinister as the events it is covering up.|
—Robert Pinsky, The New York Times Book Review
“Stunning candor and piercing details. . . . An indelible portrait of loss and grief.”
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“I can’t think of a book we need more than hers. . . . I can’t imagine dying without this book.”
—John Leonard, New York Review of Books
“Achingly beautiful. . . . We have come to admire and love Didion for her preternatural poise, unrivaled eye for absurdity, and Orwellian distaste for cant. It is thus a difficult, moving, and extraordinarily poignant experience to watch her direct such scrutiny inward.”
—Gideon Lewis-Kraus, Los Angeles Times
“An act of consummate literary bravery, a writer known for her clarity allowing us to watch her mind as it becomes clouded with grief. . . . It also skips backward in time [to] call up a shimmering portrait of her unique marriage. . . . To make her grief real, Didion shows us what she has lost.”
—Lev Grossman, Time
About the Author
Joan Didion's Where I Was From, Political Fictions, The Last Thing He Wanted, After Henry, Miami, Democracy, Salvador, A Book of Common Prayer, and Run River are available in Vintage paperback.
- Publisher : Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; Reprint edition (February 13, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 227 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1400078431
- ISBN-13 : 978-1400078431
- Item Weight : 7.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.62 x 8.01 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I donated this to a local book swap, but made a note on it to the next reader that if you're recently bereaved and struggling, this is the absolute last book you should read for comfort, unless you are as well off as Didion.
Didion's memoir helped me so much---her descriptions of her emotional trauma, and how she lived in the aftermath were spot-on and very similar to my own experience. I am usually very focused, detail-oriented; my memory is sharp. But since my mom died, I've been forgetful, unfocused, unmotivated. I felt like I was losing my mind. And I just kept thinking that if I could make it through the funeral, that would be the worst part. As Didion explains, that is NOT the worst part, or the hardest part---the worst and hardest things come later. Didion writes a lot about her own similar problems when grieving, and it was so good to know that it's not just me, and that it will get better. I bought a copy for my dad, too, and he devoured it and also found it very helpful---in fact he's mentioned several times how valuable this book has been to him. I know it's a memoir and not really a manual, but somehow, it has been something of a guidebook for us. I bought it on Kindle for me and a hardcover for Dad; I'm going to buy an extra copy to keep, just to have on hand in case a friend could one day benefit from it, too.
Read this book if you are dealing with a sudden, unexpected death of a loved one. Or, give it to someone else who is enduring something similar. You won't regret it.
"I know why we try to keep the dead alive," Didion writes. "We try to keep them alive in order to keep them with us. I also know that if we are to live ourselves there comes a point at which we must relinquish the dead, let them go, keep them dead. Let them become the photograph on the table. Let them become the name on the trust accounts. Let go of them in the water."
Top reviews from other countries
Despite these weasel words, read it anyway.
We are immediately told about the death of the author's husband - a description which could give the comfort of a shared experience to some people and a rehearsal of the future for others.
The author writes well and is very natural. There is no doubting that the topic is very worthy but I felt that she was writing for herself rather than the reader which is always a difficult balance to negotiate. I didn't feel involved with the book although acknowledge that, had I experienced anything like this, others may feel very differently.